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Subject: Archive: Doug McClure, Feb. 5, 1995

Cowboy actor
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Date Posted: Monday, February 05, 02:00:32pm

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 6 Doug McClure, who rode his way from broncobusting to starring roles in such television westerns as "The Virginian," "The Overland Trail" and "The Men From Shiloh," died on Sunday at his home in the suburb Sherman Oaks. He was 59.

The cause was lung cancer, said Dennis Morga, a friend.

Mr. McClure began riding horses at the age of 8. As a teen-ager, he spent summers on a Nevada cattle ranch, where he was a broncobuster in occasional rodeos. The experience served him well when he landed the role of Trampas, a happy-go-lucky young cowboy, in "The Virginian" in 1962.

He first attracted notice as William Bendix's sidekick in the short-lived NBC series "The Overland Trail" in 1960. He also appeared in "Checkmate," a private-eye series set in San Francisco.

"The Virginian," inspired by the Owen Wister novel and its various movie versions, was an ambitious, big-budget NBC project, the first filmed series with 90-minute episodes. The series co-star, James Drury, was on hand in December when Mr. McClure received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Mr. McClure said then that the star had helped him feel better after his yearlong fight with lung cancer.

Mr. McClure continued acting in an episode of television's "Kung Fu" in Toronto and with a theatrical film called "One West Waikiki." But on Jan. 8, he collapsed on the set in Hawaii, and doctors discovered the cancer had spread.

Mr. McClure's first acting job came in a syndicated series, "Men of Annapolis." Movies followed, including "The Enemy Below," "Gidget" and "The Unforgiven." His film credits also included "Shenandoah," "Beau Geste," "Nobody's Perfect," "Cannonball Run II" and "52 Pickup." From 1972 to 1973, he appeared on television in a spy series, "Search," and in 1975 he starred with William Shatner in the short-lived ABC western "Barbary Coast."

He made numerous guest appearances on television, notably in the 1977 series "Roots."

He is survived by his wife, Diane; two children, Tane and Valerie; his mother, Clara Clapp, and a brother, Reed.

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